Possessives: pronouns

Level: beginner

Subject Object Possessive adjective Possessive pronoun
I me  my mine
you you your yours
he him  his his
she her  her hers
it it its -
we us  our ours
they them  their theirs


Be careful!

Possessive pronouns do not have an apostrophe:

Is that car yours/hers/ours/theirs?
(NOT Is that car your's/her's/our's/their's?)

We can use a possessive pronoun instead of a full noun phrase to avoid repeating words:

Is that John's car?
     No, it's mine.
 (INSTEAD OF No, it's [my car].)

Whose coat is this?
     Is it yours? (INSTEAD OF Is it [your coat]?)

Her coat is grey.
     Mine is brown. (INSTEAD OF [My coat] is brown.)


Possessives: pronouns 1


Level: intermediate

We can use possessive pronouns and nouns after of. We can say:

Susan is one of my friends. > Susan is a friend of mine.
(NOT Susan is a friend of me.)

I am one of Susan's friends. > I am a friend of Susan's.
(NOT I am a friend of Susan.)

Possessives: pronouns 2



Average: 3.9 (190 votes)
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Sun, 21/04/2019 - 16:07

In reply to by doradosz

Hello doradosz First of all, as a native English speaker you would be much more likely to use the appropriate gendered pronoun or adjective rather than the neutral one. All of the sentences are grammatically correct, but the only one that does not sound odd to me is 3. Hope this helps! All the best Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mohsen.k77 on Mon, 18/02/2019 - 12:52

Hello Dear teachers, you have mentioned in possessive pronouns that we must say " a friend of susan" because after "of" we must use a possessive pronoun, is it correct about the following sentence too: "i'm a fan of Susan" or " a fan of her" ? are these sentences wrong?....but there is an example in longman dictionary in the entry of "fan" which is : " he's a big fan of Elvis Presley." if it is correct it means we can say " I'm a fan of her" or "I'm a friend of him"?! thx in advance Mohsen

Hello Mohsen.k77

The examples above say a friend of Susan's -- note the 's at the end of Susan. If you wanted to use a pronoun in the place of Susan, you'd have to use hersa friend of hers.

In the case of the phrase you found in the dictionary, that is a use specific to the word fan, in other words, it is like an exception. We talk about fans of a person or team followed by 's, but not with fan. In fact, we often use a noun + noun combination with fan: an Elvis Presley fan.

I hope this helps.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team


Hi Mohsen, possessive pronouns are used to replace previously referenced nouns, "a fan of her" should be 'a fan of hers' (if Susan has already been referenced or implied) because you're using a possessive pronoun 'hers'. In your next example "he's a big fan of Elvis Presley", the corresponding pronoun-antecedent agreement is, 'he's a big fan of his' - if both subject (he) and object (Presley) are already known, 'his' is the possessive pronoun and must agree in gender and number. (also worth reminding "he's" is a contraction of 'he is', subject pronoun + verb) 'I'm a big fan of his' - this is the correct construction using the possessive pronoun if you're saying it about you, and Elvis Presley was previously referenced.
NB my correction on the last example using a pronoun-antecedent agreement for, "he's a big fan of Elvis Presley" was used in context referencing 'Elvis Presley's music/work/personality', expanding on Kirk's point of using a possessive noun ('s) and the "noun + noun combination with fan: an Elvis Presley fan."

Submitted by Maha Leila on Tue, 04/12/2018 - 12:55

Hello sir, Why we didn't add more (S) to "his" in the next example like the Rest pronouns: Her birthday is on the 12th and "his" is on the 13th. Thanks in advance
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Tue, 04/12/2018 - 19:27

In reply to by Maha Leila


Hi Maha Leila,

Could you write out what you mean, please? I don't completely understand what you are suggesting, which makes it difficult for me to help you. Please write the sentence as you think it should be written and I'll try to explain it for you.

Thanks in advance.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

The confusion here may occur because in English 'his' is used for both a possessive adjective preceding a noun (his birthday), and on its own - possessive pronoun. In the given example "his" is a possessive pronoun (and only has one 's'), replacing 'his birthday'.

Submitted by pencil on Mon, 22/10/2018 - 09:09

Hello Is it entirely wrong to say: No/yes, it is my coat. and only No/yes, it is mine is correct. Or possessive is a better option. Actually I as a learner use the noun phrase but maybe as quoted above it doesn't sound natural. Please guide me. thanks in advance
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 22/10/2018 - 19:03

In reply to by pencil


Hi pencil,

Both are correct. One or the other might be more natural -- it really depends on the context and how much emphasis (if any) you want to make as the speaker.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Prap

Submitted by Prap on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 09:46

Dear Sir Would you mind telling me which of the following sentences is correct and why? (a). My house is bigger than yours. (b). My house is bigger than that of yours. I thought both were correct, but one of friends confronted me saying that in such cases as this 'yours' should be preceded by 'that/those of'. My question is who is right - me or my friend?
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 12:09

In reply to by Prap


Hello Prap,

Sentence A is correct. Possessive pronouns like 'yours' are preceded by 'of' when they qualify a noun (e.g. 'a friend of yours'), but that is not the case here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Dev.D on Tue, 27/02/2018 - 19:28

Your smile "makes" or "make" which is correct and why?

Hello Dev.D,

The correct answer is 'makes' because 'smile' is a singular count noun. If it were plural then we would use a plural verb:

You smile makes me happy.

Their smiles make me happy.



The LearnEnglish Team